Not only has Once Upon A Time returned to ABC, but so too has its spin-off series Once Upon A Time in Wonderland – but for how long? Whereas OUAT: In Wonderland might not be renewed for a second season – judging by its low ratings – there actually quite a bit of potential to this show, and the writers know it. With any luck, some characters might make the leap into the original. So let’s quickly recap this episode and explore what this season – and the future itself – holds for the cast.
The Red Queen:
Much like The Evil Queen Regina in the Once, Anastasia – the girl formerly known as The Red Queen – is now set on making amends for her past. Her past has never been delved into that much aside from her romance with Will, The Knave of Hearts – we don’t even see how she learned magic – but hopefully her future is expanded upon.
Through her interactions with the villagers and deciding to stay and fight, we can see that she has truly changed. She wants to make it up to those she’s wronged and become the Queen they should have had. Though underlying all of this is her love for Will. He is the force that is driving her, to go back to how things were with them together. Whether or not he will remains to be seen, but with Anastasia as his new Master the odds look good.
As for whether or not Anastasia will make the transition to OUAT, it seems doubtful. Even though there are pieces of her back-story we have yet to learn, her future has a set ending. Her story is tied closely to Will’s and she wishes to be a better Queen for Wonderland. Whereas she might appear once or twice if any OUAT characters head to Wonderland, I don’t see her coming to Storybrook or The Enchanted Forest. She might be interesting, but she’s still a weaker version of Regina. And there’s only one Regina!
The Knave – I mean Genie – of Hearts:
This time around we find Will, the Knave of Hearts as the new genie of the lamp. Though entertaining to see him get accustomed to the new genie powers, he has seemingly turned his back on any hope of character development.
It’s clear to see from the get go that Lizard loves Will – unless you’re Will of course. When she offers him her last two wishes and then immediately offers him her first, you can see how Will gets carried away with the popularity. Between exclaiming he’s a genie for all to hear to him loving the fact that people no longer hate him, he is much more concerned with his life than to stop and really notice hers.
When Will transformed Lizard into the beautiful confident girl in the dress with a little bit of mean in her, I first thought he was going to crush her and she would use that last wish in scorn and become the villain. What actually happened was far worse! The Lizard wished Will could feel anything for her, which caused her to die and left Will helpless to save her.
Hopefully Lizard’s death galvanizes Will to try harder and make a change, but I still doubt he’ll make the leap to OUAT. Unlike Hook or most of the other male leads in the OUAT, the Knave isn’t that deep. Despite Alice having gotten him his heart back, he still claims to be without it. With this repetition and little to no character development, he’s not dynamic enough a character to survive the crossover. Again, he shows potential, but not enough. Hopefully he gets a happy ending and stays with Anastasia to rule over Wonderland.
Cyrus and Alice:
Reunited at last – okay, it only took half a season – I thought it would be much longer before these two got back together. Now with Cyrus having proposed to Alice, it seems as though they are moving quite fast. Not their relationship – since they spent years together beforehand – , but rather their relationship IN the show. Cyrus proposing to Alice during their first full episode actually being together is quite fast – maybe they know the show is ending soon.
Cyrus and Alice are both dynamic characters in OUAT: In Wonderland, and now we finally get to learn about Cyrus’s past as the rest of this season will be devoted to finding his brothers trapped in Jafar’s lamps. Though despite these added storylines, their tale has a definite ending.
Eventhough they are the main characters, they would actually be the easiest to write out. They play no significant role in Wonderland itself and are both outsiders who wish to return to that. Not to mention their romance – while sweet – is still very plain and one-dimensional. There are no complexities like the ones found in Rumplestilkin and Belle’s. If they made the leap, they would be the new Snow and Charming – minus the family history and everything. It would be far easier to once again give them a happy ending and let them lead life on their own.
With his latest attempt at claiming the third and final lamp for his own, Jafar has no choice but to enlist the help of the most feared being in all of Wonderland – and possibly Once history itself – The Jabberwocky.
One of the greatest things about Once Upon A Time is how they go to lengths to prove that ‘Evil is made, not born’. As such, each villain has been given a chance to repent and make amends. Jafar deserves that chance too. In addition to this, his character has various levels of regret, fear, hopes, and has one of the richest back stories of any character we’ve seen thus far.
He is basically the Rumplestilskin of OUAT:In Wonderland. That being said, if he made the jump to OUAT, he would be able to be important and not get blend into the background like others would. He’s similar to Rumple in the way that Anastasia is to Regina; however, Jafar is an incredibly flushed out and determined character. His story might be similar, but he is unique enough to stand on his own. Add in the fact that he seeks to change the rules of magic, and he could open up countless new doors on OUAT.
How far the Jabberwocky will go remains to be seen, so I’m not going to even attempt to hypothesis with her right now. That being said, we know that she is incredibly powerful and can in many ways be seen as ‘The Dark One’ in Wonderland. The similarities even go down to her having a curved dagger being her weakness.
Without even lifting a finger, she makes Jafar’s fear of drowning manifest and start to literally choke him. After releasing him, she admits that he should hold onto that dagger. This might seem as though she just gave him reason to not trust her, but in fact she just gave him reason to fear him. With the dagger in hand and the Jabberwocky barely 3 feet away from him, Jafar was still helpless while she made his fears consume him. Dagger or no dagger, Jafar is in trouble.
Again, if any characters are able to make the jump to Once Upon A Time, they would have to possess enough substance to not only survive the leap, but also be unique enough to not get lost in the shuffle. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, but judging from recent interviews it seems as though the writers are already talking about adding some of cast of Wonderland to the main show. All and all, Once has a more diverse and interesting cast than its spin-off. That being said, there are a few gems that could make Once Upon A Time even better with the groundwork laid here.